East African Cuisine in Downtown Olympia

Note to readers — the restaurant named Shirro’s appears to have closed as of September 16, 2018. Our best wishes to the restauranteurs and our apologies to readers. By Jennifer Crain As a child in Kenya, Mercy Kariuki-McGee fed wood into a traditional fireplace while her older siblings cooked. As a helper, she got to taste the …

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Ballet Northwest brings the Nutcracker back to the Washington Center

by Jennifer Crain for OLY ARTS Once again, the stage at the Washington Center will be filled with mice, soldiers and snowflakes in Ballet Northwest’s 34th annual production of The Nutcracker. Ken Johnson, co-artistic director of Ballet Northwest, says this is a landmark production year for the 48-year-old company. They redesigned the scenery for the …

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Alice in Chains, from Night of the Living Tribute Bands 2016

Return of Night of the Living Tribute Bands

by Jennifer Crain for OLY ARTS It’s another night of rockin’ recollection. On October 28, the Capitol Theater will host the 14th-annual Night of the Living Tribute Bands to support live-music programming at the historical theater. The show brings in a new mix of performers that revive the sounds, looks and antics of famous bands …

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Olympia Symphony Orchestra

Olympia Symphony Orchestra’s Opening Statements

by Jennifer Crain for OLY ARTS In October, Olympia Symphony Orchestra embarks on an ambitious celebration of its 65th year. The program Opening Statements launches the season with “Awakening,” a contemplative, three-movement piece by Joseph Curiale, an American composer who’s created works for the screen and concert stage for more than three decades. Maestro Huw …

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RADCO's "Tennis Shoes and Tutus"

Open Doors for Arts Walk at The Washington Center

by Jennifer Crain for OLY ARTS The Washington Center for the Performing Arts will throw its doors open during Fall Arts Walk. On Friday, see an hour-long performance by Random Acts of Dance Collective, led by Karen Kirsch. Or catch outdoor performances by Studio West Dance Academy students. They’ll treat the crowd to hip-hop and …

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Sip, Savor & Stroll

Experience Downtown Flavors at Sip, Savor & Stroll

by Jennifer Crain for OLY ARTS On September 9, the Olympia Downtown Association will host the first-ever Sip, Savor & Stroll, a culinary tour of downtown Olympia. Kim Combs, event and volunteer coordinator, says the evening will kick off with a reception for up to 300 attendees at the Olympia Farmers Market, with Washington-sourced beers …

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Tipsy Piano Bar

Smooth Sounds and Southern Hospitality

by Jennifer Crain for OLY ARTS On August 10, the doors to the New Orleans-inspired Tipsy Piano Bar will open. The downtown venue will feature Southern and Southwest cuisine and a lounge-style dining room designed for easy conversation. In the newly renovated space, patrons will sit at candlelit tables and order drinks from a granite-topped …

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root beer float

Summer Scoops: The Best Frozen Treats in Olympia

by Jennifer Crain for OLY ARTS Downtown choices for cold treats range from Olympia-made gelato to diner-style sundaes. —– Grandpa’s Soda Fountain Ice Cream Shop Drue and Larry Brown’s 1950s-style shop features a long bar where customers order banana splits, dipped cones, floats, milkshakes and sundaes. It typically has nine flavors of hard ice creams …

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craft-brewed beer

SPSCC Launches Craft Brewing and Distilling Program

by Jennifer Crain for OLY ARTS In fall 2017, South Puget Sound Community College will launch craft brewing, cider making and distilling programs. The curriculum is designed to equip students with an understanding of the science and craft of beverage creation and a solid footing in business fundamentals, production and regulation. “The students who come …

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La Petite Maison

Fine French Cuisine at La Petite Maison

by Jennifer Crain for OLY ARTS In a little house on Olympia’s west side, Justin Wells creates cassoulet, chateaubriand and morel tarts while Zoe Wells welcomes diners looking to celebrate an anniversary or enjoy a solo meal over a glass of Beaujolais. La Petite Maison, which the couple started six years ago, has received praise …

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